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How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes, in 6 Steps

We’ve all been there—whether we’re eating, cooking, or just by unlucky chance, an oil stain appears on our freshly laundered shirt. While it’s certainly not one of the most complicated stains to tackle, it is an annoying one because if you don’t act fast, it becomes all the more difficult to remove. The good news? You likely have the magic oil-removing cleaner sitting by your kitchen sink right this very minute, so you won’t have to purchase any expensive, stain-fitting cleaner.

Ahead, exactly how to get oil stains out of your clothes in just six super-simple steps. We’re also sharing our favorite cotton shirts because that’s one of the most easy-to-launder materials around. You won’t fear oil stains quite as much once you’re done reading this.

1. Don’t rinse with water.

This is a big no. For many, their first reaction is to dab the oil stain with water, but it’s actually best to work on the spot when it’s dry.

2. Act fast to remove before the stain sets.

Once you notice an oil stain on your clothing, it’s time to act fast. The longer you wait to remove it, the more the stain will set into the fibers of your clothing and become that much harder to remove.

3. Grab some liquid dishwashing detergent.

Go to your kitchen sink and reach for your go-to liquid dishwashing detergent. This is what you’ll use to pre-treat the stain and lift the oil from the clothing’s fibers.

4. Add a drop onto the stain.

Apply a few drops of the dishwashing detergent and let it soak for five minutes. Rub it in gently to work it into the stain.

After you’ve used a gentle scrubbing motion to work the detergent into the stain (and allowed it to soak in for five or so minutes), rinse it with warm water.

6. Wash as you normally would.

Once you’ve pre-treated the stain with liquid detergent and rinsed it out, wash the clothing item as you normally would. For whites, wash in hot water, and for darker colors, stick to the warm setting.

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